The Toy Box – Charly Cox
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Series: Detective Alyssa Wyatt Book two
Published: June 2020, Hera Books
Swathi’s rating: 4/5
About the Book
You don’t want to play their games…
All around Albuquerque, New Mexico, young women are going missing, seemingly vanished into thin air. With no link between the victims, Detective Alyssa Wyatt is quickly plunged into a horrifying case with no obvious clues.
And when Jersey Andrews, the best friend of Alyssa’s teenage daughter, Holly, joins the list of vanished girls, the case becomes personal.
But this investigation will lead Alyssa and partner Cord into the most sinister depths of humanity; an evil place where life is expendable, and where the depraved can fulfil their darkest desires – if they have the money to pay for it.
As the first bodies appear, abandoned on the streets, Alyssa is forced into a frantic hunt to track down the killers – before more innocent women lose their lives. But when the truth comes out, it seems that the key to solving the case was hiding in the last place anyone expected…
A dark, tension-filled and absolutely nail-biting crime thriller with a twist – this one will have you reading until the small hours. Fans of Robert Bryndza, Melinda Leigh and Lisa Regan will not want to miss this addictive read.
Trigger Warning: violence, drug references, kidnapping (of teenage girls).
This is the second book featuring detective Alyssa and her partner and they’re plunged into an important case involving missing teenage girls thoughout the neighborhood. It gets close to home when Alyssa’s daughter’s bestfriend Jersey Andrews goes missing just after the girls dropped her near her home. At first, there are no connections to the missing girls, and the suspects are teenage boyfriends and couple fights. Jersey Andrews’s jerk of a boyfriend and his father who abuses women on a daily basis, annd her rich parents do not seem to care for their daughter’s welfare.
Until a body is found and everything is changed.
Meanwhile, there is a parallel naration showing us what really happens to the missing girls, the captive situation and let me just say, its not a comfortable read. There is human trafficking involved. Thank goodness there are no graphic scenes. Although, there are a few scenes showing the terrible, terrible state of the kidnapped girls and I cannot begin to imagine any of it. It’s just very upsetting.
Alyssa’s investigation depends highly on other resources and does not seem to grasp the enormity of the situation. As a reader, you’d want to shake the hell out of the detectives and drive them along the direction of the evidence. Do not want yet another dead end approach with the clock ticking and the girls’ life in peril.
This book had me between heartbreak and suspense, a very difficult dilemma for a crime reader whether to continue the book or not. At last my curiosity won me over and I just couldn’t wait till I knew how it ends. An entertaining, fast-paced, atmospheric thriller. Recommended.
Meet the Author
Born in the South, raised in the Midwest, Charly now resides in the Southwest in the Land of Enchantment where she enjoys eating copious amounts of green chile and other spicy foods. When she’s not reading, writing, or plotting sinister evils with her antagonists, she enjoys doing jigsaw and crossword puzzles, hanging out with her husband and her spoiled Siberian Husky, visiting her son in Arizona, and traveling, preferably to places surrounded by sun, sand, and warm uncrowded beaches.